NFTs have entered a new stage of their life cycle—and the possibilities are endless for this next generation, aptly called Living NFTs.
Radical gene-editing technology CRISPR is in the news and rightly celebrated, but another form of genetic manipulation, known as “boosting,” may reshape how we face a wide range of conditions. It shows dramatic promise for treating genetic diseases like hemophilia B and sickle cell disease, but could ultimately even help combat aging itself.
Idealism helped build a massive global movement of free culture and the net. It may still offer a powerful outline of cyberspace governance: an equitable and enlightened arena, a benign ecosystem that interweaves people and machines. Unfortunately we’re not even close to that today. But it’s not too late to retrieve that vision.
People are so opposed to GMOs that such food has often been banned, though studies find zero evidence it harms people. But paradoxically, when it comes to editing human genomes, many are eager to press forward. Yet here scientists themselves mostly call for caution, because little is known about long-term ramifications.
A breakthrough method that makes editing the genes of living beings relatively easy, called CRISPR, is much in the news these days. So are the many implications—both terrifying and promising—associated with it. The seemingly endless possibilities of genome editing have even the scientific community on edge, and it’s stirring up heated debate about where the ethical limits are. At the moment, most of the calls for restraint in the use of CRISPR are coming directly from scientists, but it won’t be long before government officials or candidates hoping to be elected start airing their opinions about how this field should be regulated. It’s worth taking a moment to consider how different modes of oversight could affect the opportunities afforded us by genome editing.
In response to growing concerns about the potential application of CRISPR-Cas9 technology, the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine are convening an international summit this fall to “explore the scientific, ethical, and policy issues associated with human gene-editing research.” If you think of a genome as a manuscript, full of extraneous, unnecessary, sometimes flat-out harmful material, the CRISPR-Cas9 technique can be likened to an incredibly useful editing tool. In biological circles, the conversation is heated. Some see remarkable opportunities to prevent the kinds of genetic diseases that impact millions of people a year, things like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, hemophilia, and more. Others see yet another Pandora’s box that could lead to things like designer babies or the unintended genetic mutations that lead to unimaginable consequences.